Gardening antidote to Blue Monday

Jan 14, 2021

The third Monday of January was named ‘Blue Monday’ by a PR travel company in 2004, which claimed it was the most depressing day of the year.

The theory was that a mixture of bad weather, fewer daylight hours, stress, failed New Year’s resolutions and post-Christmas debt meant the day was particularly unhappy. Since then, the idea has been debunked but whether you believe it or not, this year people are dealing with the additional burden of a third national lockdown.

For anyone lucky enough to have access to a garden, a great way to chase the winter blues away is by getting outside in the fresh air.  For an instant winter ‘pick me up’ colourful winter bedding can really help brighten your garden and your mood.

 Tete-a-Tete daffodils...

... Hellebores, Camellias or wonderful scented Hyacinths will certainly cheer you up on dark winter days. Getting out in the garden is always good for the soul, and many studies show that gardening is great for your mental health and wellbeing.

As well as enjoying winter colour there are plenty of other things that you can do in the garden for a real sense of achievement, to feel good, get active, and chase the winter blues away. Here are some ideas from Squire’s Garden Centres.

  • Tidy your shed – Take everything out and throw away what you don’t need, so you can easily organise and tidy away. Clean and oil your tools ready for the new season and a longer life.
  • Protect plants in containers – Wet cold compost can cause plant roots to rot, so ensure that your pots have drainage holes in the bottom and stand them on pot feet, so that any excess water drains away.
  • Protect pots from frost – Frost can penetrate the sides of pots, especially those made out of terracotta. and kill off plant roots, Wrap containers with fleece, and push them against the house wall where it is warmer, or move them inside.
  • Feed the birds – Birds need calorie rich food to maintain fat reserves, particularly on frosty nights. Leave out food everyday such as energy suet balls or put peanuts in feeders.
  • Help hedgehogs – Hedgehogs are prone to waking from hibernation early in mild weather. Provide shelter by making a leaf pile or providing a hedgehog house. Leave out cat or dog food and a bowl of water.
  • Prune fruit trees and shrubs – Pruning will encourage more fruit and flowering as well as remove disease wood. It’s easy to shape shrubs and trees when the stems are bare.
  • Grow your own – Now is the time to plan what you are going to grow and choose your seeds. You can even plant some of them now if you have a heated propagator. You can also start chitting potatoes (encouraging seed potatoes to sprout before planting) from the end of January.

Everyone knows that feeling ‘blue’ is not restricted to a single day but spending time outside on gardening projects helps boost morale on any day of the week.

Gardening advice and monthly tasks and tips.

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